Essay on The Women Of The American Civil War

2203 Words May 6th, 2015 9 Pages
Faust, Drew Gilpin. Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill & London, 1996.

Mothers of Invention is a book about Women of the South during the Civil War. It is a gender study that details how the slaveholding class responded when the men went to war and the women were left behind to run the plantations and manage slaves. Faust wrote the book using hundreds of letters and documents that she gathered from all over the South. Before the war the women that she documents in her book defined themselves by their relationship to the men. Faust argues that the war challenged gender roles in the South. Before the war slaveholding women in the South did not have to do much work, they rarely even raised their own children, and were not involved in economic decisions. Without men, these women often did physical labor for the first time in their lives. Many of the slaves fled to the north to obtain freedom so many of these women were forced to start caring for their own children, a task that they found very hard. Although southern women were considered highly emotional and delicate, they had to go out of the norms of their society in order to survive.

Drew Gilpin Faust is one of the foremost historians of the Civil War and the American South. She was the founding dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard and served on the history faculty at the University of…

Related Documents